Less Friends Quotes

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I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Trust no friend without faults, and love a woman, but no angel.
Doris Lessing
You should try not to talk so much, friend. You'll sound far less stupid that way. - Breeze
Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Gradually the waiting began to feel less like waiting and more like this was simply what life was: the distracting tasks undertaken while the thing you are waiting for continues not to happen.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
For a friend with an understanding heart is worth no less than a brother
Homer (The Odyssey)
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (No man is an island – A selection from the prose)
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change
Thich Nhat Hanh
Death is like an old friend who pays a visit, sometimes when it’s least expected and other times when you’re waiting for her. It’s neither the first nor the last time she’ll pay a visit, but that doesn’t make any death less harsh or unforgiving.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1))
You can be just friends with people, you know," Orla said. "I think it's crazy how you're in love with all those raven boys." Orla wasn't wrong, of course. But what she didn't realize about Blue and her boys was that they were all in love with one another. She was no less obsessed with them than they were with her, or one another, analyzing every conversation and gesture, drawing out every joke into a longer and longer running gag, spending each moment either with one another or thinking about when next they would be with one another. Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn't all-encompassing, that wasn't blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she'd had this kind, she didn't want the other.
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
Stop trying to be less of who you are. Let this time in your life cut you open and drain all of the things that are holding you back.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Here's to the kids. The kids who would rather spend their night with a bottle of coke & Patrick or Sonny playing on their headphones than go to some vomit-stained high school party. Here's to the kids whose 11:11 wish was wasted on one person who will never be there for them. Here's to the kids whose idea of a good night is sitting on the hood of a car, watching the stars. Here's to the kids who never were too good at life, but still were wicked cool. Here's to the kids who listened to Fall Out boy and Hawthorne Heights before they were on MTV...and blame MTV for ruining their life. Here's to the kids who care more about the music than the haircuts. Here's to the kids who have crushes on a stupid lush. Here's to the kids who hum "A Little Less 16 Candles, A Little More Touch Me" when they're stuck home, dateless, on a Saturday night. Here's to the kids who have ever had a broken heart from someone who didn't even know they existed. Here's to the kids who have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower & didn't feel so alone after doing so. Here's to the kids who spend their days in photobooths with their best friend(s). Here's to the kids who are straight up smartasses & just don't care. Here's to the kids who speak their mind. Here's to the kids who consider screamo their lullaby for going to sleep. Here's to the kids who second guess themselves on everything they do. Here's to the kids who will never have 100 percent confidence in anything they do, and to the kids who are okay with that. Here's to the kids. This one's not for the kids, who always get what they want, But for the ones who never had it at all. It's not for the ones who never got caught, But for the ones who always try and fall. This one's for the kids who didnt make it, We were the kids who never made it. The Overcast girls and the Underdog Boys. Not for the kids who had all their joys. This one's for the kids who never faked it. We're the kids who didn't make it. They say "Breaking hearts is what we do best," And, "We'll make your heart be ripped of your chest" The only heart that I broke was mine, When I got My Hopes up too too high. We were the kids who didnt make it. We are the kids who never made it.
Pete Wentz
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese And More Ice Cream Thoughts On Life From Erma Bombeck)
Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
Friendship is less simple. It is long and hard to obtain but when one has it there's no getting rid of it; one simply has to cope with it. Don't think for a minute that your friends will telephone you every evening, as they ought to, in order to find out if this doesn't happen to be the evening when you are deciding to commit suicide, or simply whether you don't need company, whether you are not in the mood to go out. No, don't worry, they'll ring up the evening you are not alone, when life is beautiful. As for suicide, they would be more likely to push you to it, by virtue of what you owe to yourself, according to them. May heaven protect us, cher Monsieur, from being set upon a pedestal by our friends!
Albert Camus (The Fall)
Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess: Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity. Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends. Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing. I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong. Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces. Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so. Amen
Anonymous
I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
Those who cannot conceive Friendship as a substantive love but only as a disguise or elaboration of Eros betray the fact that they have never had a Friend. The rest of us know that though we can have erotic love and friendship for the same person yet in some ways nothing is less like a Friendship than a love-affair. Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest. Above all, Eros (while it lasts) is necessarily between two only. But two, far from being the necessary number for Friendship, is not even the best. And the reason for this is important. ... In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets... Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves. Two friends delight to be joined by a third, and three by a fourth, if only the newcomer is qualified to become a real friend. They can then say, as the blessed souls say in Dante, 'Here comes one who will augment our loves.' For in this love 'to divide is not to take away.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
You destroy me." "Juliette," he says and he mouths the name, barely speaking at all, and he's pouring molten lava into my limbs and I never even knew I could melt straight to death. "I want you," he says. He says "I want all of you. I want you inside and out and catching your breath and aching for me like I ache for you." He says it like it's a lit cigarette lodged in his throat, like he wants to dip me in warm honey and he says "It's never been a secret. I've never tried to hide that from you. I've never pretended I wanted anything less." "You-you said you wanted f-friendship-" "Yes," he says, he swallows, "I did. I do. I do want to be your friend. He nods and I register the slight movement in the air between us. "I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend," he says. "The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette-" "No," I gasp. "Don't-don't s-say that-" "I want to know where to touch you," he says. "I want to know how to touch you. I want to know how to convince you to design a smile just for me." I feel his chest rising, falling, up and down and up and down and "Yes," he says. "I do want to be your friend." He says "I want to be your best friend in the entire world." "I want so many things," he whispers. "I want your mind. Your strength. I want to be worth your time." His fingers graze the hem of my top and he says "I want this up." He tugs on the waist of my pants and says "I want these down." He touches the tips of his fingers to the sides of my body and says, "I want to feel your skin on fire. I want to feel your heart racing next to mine and I want to know it's racing because of me, because you want me. Because you never," he says, he breathes, "never want me to stop. I want every second. Every inch of you. I want all of it." And I drop dead, all over the floor. "Juliette." I can't understand why I can still hear him speaking because I'm dead, I'm already dead, I've died over and over and over again. He swallows, hard, his chest heaving, his words a breathless, shaky whisper when he says "I'm so-I'm so desperately in love with you-
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
You told me this wasn't a formal date when you invited me to come. Why should I care if you have a girlfriend?" "Absolutely," he said, giving me a fake-serious look. "Yeah, you and I are just friends . . . out for a friendly walk. Nothing more, nothing less." "Exactly!" I agreed, my heart giving a painful twist. He broke into a large grin and, leaning over, kissed me on the cheek. "Kate," he whispered, "you are way too gullible.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Felicity," Mrs. Featherington interurupted, "why don't you tell Mr. Brdgerton about your watercolors?" For the life of him, Colin couldn't imagine a less interesting topic (except maybe for Phillipa's watercolors), but he nonetheless turned to the youngest Featherington with a friendly smile and asked, "And how are your watercolors?" But Felicity, bless her heart, gave him a rather friendly smile herself and said nothing but, "I imagine they're fine, thank you.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in blurry, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as a starfish loves a coral reef and as a kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fettuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. i will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and as an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of people who talk too much. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as the taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock.
Lemony Snicket
Friends are automatically classed as 'less important' than romantic partners. I'd never questioned that. It was just the way the world was. I guess I'd always felt that friendship just couldn't compete with what a partner offered, and that I'd never really experience real love until I found romance. But if that had been true, I probably wouldn't have felt like this.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and lonliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thougts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!
Henry Van Dyke
As you grow older, you realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. People nowadays don't know the true meaning of friendship and loyalty. People always suddenly miss you more once they see how much happier you are without them. Learn the real from the fake....and don't worry about the mistakes you make. There are no mistakes in life, just lessons. The only people worthy to be in your life are the ones that help you through the hard times and laugh with you after the hard times pass.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
I Choose Love... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves. I Choose Joy... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I Choose Peace... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so I may live. I Choose Patience... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so, Rather complain that the wait is to long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage. I Choose Kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for that is how God has treated me. I Choose Goodness... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness. I Choose Faithfulness... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My friends will not question my word. And my family will not question my love. I Choose Gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. I Choose Self-Control... I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
Max Lucado
We are way less likely to love someone just because they love us than we are to hate someone just because they hate us.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Life is beautiful and life is stupid. This is, in fact, widely regarded as a universal rule not less inviolable than the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Uncertainty Principle, and No Post on Sundays. As long as you keep that in mind, and never give more weight to one than the other, the history of the galaxy is a simple tune with lyrics flashed on-screen and a helpful, friendly bouncing disco ball of all-annihilating flames to help you follow along.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get to their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority-it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are-only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself.
Ernest Becker (The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man)
Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard. It makes demands. Hate is simple.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
In all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these: 1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable. 2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman. 3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience. 4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes. 5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement. 6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy. 7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy. 8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!
Benjamin Franklin
When Ava turned away, Jules leaned in and whispered, “He’s totally whipped. Watch.” She raised her voice to a panicked level. “Oh my God! Ava, are you bleeding?” Alex’s head snapped up. Less than five seconds later, he ended his call and crossed the room to a confused-looking Ava, whose hand froze halfway to the scones on the table. “I’m fine,” Ava said as Alex searched her for injuries. She glared at Jules. “What did I just say?” “I can’t help it.” Jules’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “It’s so much fun. It’s like playing with a windup toy.” “Until the toy comes alive and kills you,” Stella murmured loud enough for everyone to hear. Alex stared at Jules with displeasure scrawled all over his face. His features were so perfect it was a little unnerving, like seeing a carefully sculpted statue come to life. Some people were into that, but I preferred men with a little more grit. Give me scars and a nose that was slightly crooked from being broken too many times over perfection. “Pray you and Ava stay friends forever,” Alex said, icy enough to elicit a rash of goosebumps on my arms.
Ana Huang (Twisted Games (Twisted, #2))
I acquired expensive habits and affected manners. I got a third-class degree and a first-class illusion: that I was a poet. But nothing could have been less poetic that my seeing-through-all boredom with life in general and with making a living in particular. I was too green to know that all cynicism masks a failure to cope-- an impotence, in short; and that to despise all effort is the greatest effort of all. But I did absorb a small dose of one permanently useful thing, Oxford's greatest gift to civilized life: Socratic honesty. It showed me, very intermittently, that it is not enough to revolt against one's past. One day I was outrageously bitter among some friends about the Army; back in my own rooms later it suddenly struck me that just because I said with impunity things that would have apoplexed my dead father, I was still no less under his influence. The truth was I was not a cynic by nature, only by revolt. I had got away from what I hated, but I hadn't found where I loved, and so I pretended that there was nowhere to love. Handsomely equipped to fail, I went out into the world.
John Fowles (The Magus)
You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time. Sometimes we’re born into families who don’t know how to love us properly. They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can.
Ryan O'Connell
Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special, it’s not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe. The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time; not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.
Adyashanti
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“ Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
Ubuntu [...] speaks of the very essence of being human. [We] say [...] "Hey, so-and-so has ubuntu." Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons." [...] A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.
Desmond Tutu (No Future Without Forgiveness)
DADDY You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time― Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one grey toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic When it pours bean green over blue In the waters of beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You― Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not And less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I’m finally through. The black telephone’s off at the root, The voices just can’t worm through. If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two― The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There’s a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never like you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
Those who think money can't buy happiness just don't know where to shop … People would be happier and healthier if they took more time off and spent it with their family and friends, yet America has long been heading in the opposite direction. People would be happier if they reduced their commuting time, even if it meant living in smaller houses, yet American trends are toward even larger houses and ever longer commutes. People would be happier and healthier if they took longer vacations even if that meant earning less, yet vacation times are shrinking in the United States, and in Europe as well. People would be happier, and in the long run and wealthier, if they bought basic functional appliances, automobiles, and wristwatches, and invested the money they saved for future consumption; yet, Americans and in particular spend almost everything they have – and sometimes more – on goods for present consumption, often paying a large premium for designer names and superfluous features.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The history of a man's soul, even the pettiest soul, is hardly less interesting and useful than the history of a whole people; especially when the former is the result of the observations of a mature mind upon itself, and has been written without any egotistical desire of arousing sympathy or astonishment. Rousseau's Confessions has precisely this defect – he read it to his friends.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
From the earliest age, we must learn to say good-bye to friends and family. We see our parents and siblings off at the station; we visit cousins, attend schools, join the regiment; we marry, or travel abroad. It is part of the human experience that we are constantly gripping a good fellow by the shoulders and wishing him well, taking comfort from the notion that we will hear word of him soon enough. But experience is less likely to teach us how to bid our dearest possessions adieu. And if it were to? We wouldn’t welcome the education. For eventually, we come to hold our dearest possessions more closely than we hold our friends. We carry them from place to place, often at considerable expense and inconvenience; we dust and polish their surfaces and reprimand children for playing too roughly in their vicinity—all the while, allowing memories to invest them with greater and greater importance. This armoire, we are prone to recall, is the very one in which we hid as a boy; and it was these silver candelabra that lined our table on Christmas Eve; and it was with this handkerchief that she once dried her tears, et cetera, et cetera. Until we imagine that these carefully preserved possessions might give us genuine solace in the face of a lost companion.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
It is a bit of a cliché to characterize life as a rambling journey on which we can alter our course at any given time--by the slightest turn of the wheel, the wisdom goes, we influence the chain of events and thus recast our destiny with new cohorts, circumstances, and discoveries. But for the most of us, life is nothing like that. Instead, we have a few brief periods when we are offered a handful of discrete options. Do I take this job or that job? In Chicago or New York? Do I join this circle of friends or that one, and with whom do I go home at the end of the night? And does one make time for children now? Or later? Or later still? In that sense, life is less like a journey than it is a game of honeymoon bridge. In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions--we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made shape our lives for decades to come.
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are. A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening. Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily. You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth. You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later. Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage. Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything. I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it. You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it. Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today? We shall see.
Ryan O'Connell
The robot said, 'I have been trying, friend Julius, to understand some remarks Elijah made to me earlier. Perhaps I am beginning to, for it suddenly seems to me that the destruction of what should not be, that is, the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of thi sevil into what you call good.' He hesitated, then, almost as though he were surprised at his own owrds, he said, 'Go, and sin no more!
Isaac Asimov (The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1))
When you get older, you notice your sheets are dirty. Sometimes, you do something about it. And sometimes, you read the front page of the newspaper and sometimes you floss and sometimes you stop biting your nails and sometimes you meet a friend for lunch. You still crave lemonade, but the taste doesn’t satisfy you as much as it used to. You still crave summer, but sometimes you mean summer, five years ago. You remember your umbrella, you check up on people to see if they got home, you leave places early to go home and make toast. You stand by the toaster in your underwear and a big t-shirt, wondering if you should just turn in or watch one more hour of television. You laugh at different things. You stop laughing at other things. You think about old loves almost like they are in a museum. The socks, you notice, aren’t organized into pairs and you mentally make a note of it. You cover your mouth when you sneeze, reaching for the box of tissues you bought, contains aloe. When you get older, you try different shampoos. You find one you like. You try sleeping early and spin class and jogging again. You try a book you almost read but couldn’t finish. You wrap yourself in the blankets of: familiar t-shirts, caffe au lait, dim tv light, texts with old friends or new people you really want to like and love you. You lose contact with friends from college, and only sometimes you think about it. When you do, it feels bad and almost bitter. You lose people, and when other people bring them up, you almost pretend like you know what they are doing. You try to stop touching your face and become invested in things like expensive salads and trying parsnips and saving up for a vacation you really want. You keep a spare pen in a drawer. You look at old pictures of yourself and they feel foreign and misleading. You forget things like: purchasing stamps, buying more butter, putting lotion on your elbows, calling your mother back. You learn things like balance: checkbooks, social life, work life, time to work out and time to enjoy yourself. When you get older, you find yourself more in control. You find your convictions appealing, you find you like your body more, you learn to take things in stride. You begin to crave respect and comfort and adventure, all at the same time. You lay in your bed, fearing death, just like you did. You pull lint off your shirt. You smile less and feel content more. You think about changing and then often, you do.
Alida Nugent (You Don't Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism)
He was no longer just my brother’s best friend, but my friend too, though some of the thoughts I had toward him were less than platonic.
Ana Huang (Twisted Love (Twisted, #1))
I learned that the possessions most esteemed by your fellow-creatures were, high and unsullied descent united with riches. A man might be respected with only one of these acquisitions; but without either he was considered, except in very rare instances, as a vagabond and slave, doomed to waste his powers for the profit of the chosen few. And what was I? Of my creation and creator I was absolutely ignorant; but I knew that I possessed no money, no friends, no kind of property. I was, besides, endowed with a figure hideously deformed and loathsome; I was not even of the same nature as man. I was more agile than they, and could subsist upon coarser diet; I bore the extremes of heat and cold with less injury to my frame; my stature far exceeded their's. When I looked around, I saw and heard of none like me. Was I then a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled, and whom all men disowned?
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein, Or The Modern Prometheus)
Don't worry. A man can have many best friends and none any more or less best than the other.
Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe)
Modern life seems set up so that we can avoid loneliness at all costs, but maybe it's worthwhile to face it occasionally. The further we push aloneness away, the less are we able to cope with it, and the more terrifying it gets. Some philosophers believe that loneliness is the only true feeling there is. We live orphaned on a tiny rock in the immense vastness of space, with no hint of even the simplest form of life anywhere around us for billions upon billions of miles, alone beyond all imagining. We live locked in our own heads and can never entirely know the experience of another person. Even if we're surrounded by family and friends, we journey into death completely alone.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
As surely as the sunset in my latest November shall translate me to the ethereal world, and remind me of the ruddy morning of youth; as surely as the last strain of music which falls on my decaying ear shall make age to be forgotten, or, in short, the manifold influences of nature survive during the term of our natural life, so surely my Friend shall forever be my Friend, and reflect a ray of God to me, and time shall foster and adorn and consecrate our Friendship, no less than the ruins of temples.
Henry David Thoreau (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod)
And yet from thought of death, my friends, I shrink; I want to live - to suffer and to think, To taste of care and grief and tribulation, Of rapture and of sweet exhilaration; Be drunk with harmony; touch fancy's strings And freely weep o'er its imaginings... And love's last flash, its smile of farewell tender My sad decline may yet less mournful render.
Alexander Pushkin
The deeper the solitude the less the sense of loneliness, and the nearer our friends.
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
We don’t owe anyone our sadness, but the sharing of it is what friends do. It makes the sadness less. Friends don’t care if you like the same football squad.
Daniel Nayeri (Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story))
It is lonely behind these boundaries. Some people-particularly those whom psychiatrists call schizoid-because of unpleasant, traumatizing experiences in childhood, perceive the world outside of themselves as unredeemably dangerous, hostile, confusing and unnurturing. Such people feel their boundaries to be protecting and comforting and find a sense of safety in their loneliness. But most of us feel our loneliness to be painful and yearn to escape from behind the walls of our individual identities to a condition in which we can be more unified with the world outside of ourselves. The experience of falling in love allows us this escapetemporarily. The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself from oneself, the explosive pouring out of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more! In some respects (but certainly not in all) the act of falling in love is an act of regression. The experience of merging with the loved one has in it echoes from the time when we were merged with our mothers in infancy. Along with the merging we also reexperience the sense of omnipotence which we had to give up in our journey out of childhood. All things seem possible! United with our beloved we feel we can conquer all obstacles. We believe that the strength of our love will cause the forces of opposition to bow down in submission and melt away into the darkness. All problems will be overcome. The future will be all light. The unreality of these feelings when we have fallen in love is essentially the same as the unreality of the two-year-old who feels itself to be king of the family and the world with power unlimited. Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old's fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn't. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn't. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn't like his friends; he doesn't like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other's. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him. He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Our northern summers, though, are versions Of southern winters, this is clear; And though we’re loath to cast aspersions, They seem to go before they’re here! The sky breathed autumn, turned and darkled; The friendly sun less often sparkled; The days grew short and as they sped, The wood with mournful murmur shed Its wondrous veil to stand uncovered; The fields all lay in misty peace; The caravan of cackling geese Turned south; and all around there hovered The sombre season near at hand; November marched across the land.
Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin)
It is a mistake to think of the expatriate as someone who abdicates, who withdraws and humbles himself, resigned to his miseries, his outcast state. On a closer look, he turns out to be ambitious, aggressive in his disappointments, his very acrimony qualified by his belligerence. The more we are dispossessed, the more intense our appetites and illusions become. I even discern some relation between misfortune and megalomania. The man who has lost everything preserves as a last resort the hope of glory, or of literary scandal. He consents to abandon everything, except his name. [ . . . ] Let us say a man writes a novel which makes him, overnight, a celebrity. In it he recounts his sufferings. His compatriots in exile envy him: they too have suffered, perhaps more. And the man without a country becomes—or aspires to become—a novelist. The consequence: an accumulation of confusions, an inflation of horrors, of frissons that date. One cannot keep renewing Hell, whose very characteristic is monotony, or the face of exile either. Nothing in literature exasperates a reader so much as The Terrible; in life, it too is tainted with the obvious to rouse our interest. But our author persists; for the time being he buries his novel in a drawer and awaits his hour. The illusion of surprise, of a renown which eludes his grasp but on which he reckons, sustains him; he lives on unreality. Such, however, is the power of this illusion that if, for instance, he works in some factory, it is with the notion of being freed from it one day or another by a fame as sudden as it is inconceivable. * Equally tragic is the case of the poet. Walled up in his own language, he writes for his friends—for ten, for twenty persons at the most. His longing to be read is no less imperious than that of the impoverished novelist. At least he has the advantage over the latter of being able to get his verses published in the little émigré reviews which appear at the cost of almost indecent sacrifices and renunciations. Let us say such a man becomes—transforms himself—into an editor of such a review; to keep his publication alive he risks hunger, abstains from women, buries himself in a windowless room, imposes privations which confound and appall. Tuberculosis and masturbation, that is his fate. No matter how scanty the number of émigrés, they form groups, not to protect their interests but to get up subscriptions, to bleed each other white in order to publish their regrets, their cries, their echoless appeals. One cannot conceive of a more heart rending form of the gratuitous. That they are as good poets as they are bad prose writers is to be accounted for readily enough. Consider the literary production of any "minor" nation which has not been so childish as to make up a past for itself: the abundance of poetry is its most striking characteristic. Prose requires, for its development, a certain rigor, a differentiated social status, and a tradition: it is deliberate, constructed; poetry wells up: it is direct or else totally fabricated; the prerogative of cave men or aesthetes, it flourishes only on the near or far side of civilization, never at the center. Whereas prose demands a premeditated genius and a crystallized language, poetry is perfectly compatible with a barbarous genius and a formless language. To create a literature is to create a prose.
Emil M. Cioran (The Temptation to Exist)
Already, every day, millions of us are needled and outraged by the hysterically stated views of those with whom we don’t agree. Our irritation pushes us into a place of fiercer opposition. The more emotional we become, the less rational we become, the less able to properly reason. In an attempt to quieten the stress, we begin muting, blocking, de-friending and unfollowing. And we’re in an echo chamber now, shielded from diverse perspectives that might otherwise have made us wiser and more empathetic and open. Safe in the digital cocoon we’ve constructed, surrounded by voices who flatter us with agreement, we become yet more convinced of our essential rightness, and so pushed even further away from our opponents, who by now seem practically evil in their bloody-minded wrongness
Will Storr (Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us)
In the age of Plato there was no regular mode of publication, and an author would have the less scruple in altering or adding to a work which was known only to a few of his friends.
Plato (Republic, Books 1-2)
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
Our own brand of democracy has reached a point in its evolution where we expect ruthless, self-protective pragmatism from our politicians, rather than idealism; where noble sentiments are likely to be dismissed as the 'vision thing'; where winning is everything, civility is in short supply, and the lack of respect between political opponents - sometimes amounting almost to loathing - only serves to reinforce voters' cynicism about all of them (a cynicism deepened when voters occasionally learn that some of these combatants are actually quite friendly with each other offstage).
Hugh Mackay (Australia Reimagined: Towards a More Compassionate, Less Anxious Society)
Quick Review of Core Behavior Patterns Reds are quick and more than happy to take command if needed. They make things happen. However, when they get going, they become control freaks and can be hopeless to deal with. And they repeatedly trample on people’s toes. Yellows can be amusing, creative, and elevate the mood regardless of who they’re with. However, when they are given unlimited space, they will consume all the oxygen in the room, they won’t allow anyone into a conversation, and their stories will reflect reality less and less. The friendly Greens are easy to hang out with because they are so pleasant and genuinely care for others. Unfortunately, they can be too wishy-washy and unclear. Anyone who never takes a stand eventually becomes difficult to handle. You don’t know where they really stand, and indecision kills the energy in other people. The analytical Blues are calm, levelheaded, and think before they speak. Their ability to keep a cool head is undoubtedly an enviable quality for all who aren’t capable of doing that. However, Blues’ critical thinking can easily turn to suspicion and questioning those around them. Everything can become suspect and sinister.
Thomas Erikson (Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life))
My smile was pure ice. “I would spend more time improving your chess skills and less worrying about other people’s business, Josh. I’ve beaten Alex in chess. Have you?” Josh’s smile disappeared. “What do you mean, you’ve beaten Alex in chess? When did you play chess together?” He whipped his head toward Alex. “You’ve been playing chess with someone else?” Alex closed his eyes briefly before he opened them and glared at me, his expression filled with frost-tipped venom. My smile widened. “We have a standing chess date every month.” I swirled my drink in my glass. “Didn’t he tell you?” Josh looked stricken. “You have another, secret best friend? But…I’m your best friend! I bought you a banana float for your bachelor party!” “I don’t want a banana float, and he’s not my best friend.” Alex’s glare intensified. I shrugged, my meaning clear. What can you do? C’est la vie.
Ana Huang (Twisted Lies (Twisted, #4))
Dear Reader, We wouldn’t need books quite so much if everyone around us understood us well. But they don’t. Even those who love us get us wrong. They tell us who we are but miss things out. They claim to know what we need, but forget to ask us properly first. They can’t understand what we feel—and sometimes, we’re unable to tell them, because we don’t really understand it ourselves. That’s where books come in. They explain us to ourselves and to others, and make us feel less strange, less isolated and less alone. We might have lots of good friends, but even with the best friends in the world, there are things that no one quite gets. That’s the moment to turn to books. They are friends waiting for us any time we want them, and they will always speak honestly to us about what really matters. They are the perfect cure for loneliness. They can be our very closest friends. Yours, Alain
Maria Popova (A Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Reader)
SOPHIE WASN’T SURE HOW LONG she sat there staring blankly at her empty doorway. Could’ve been minutes. Could’ve been hours. It didn’t matter. No amount of time was going to quiet the chaos in her head. All it did was raise a whole lot of terrifying questions. Because even if Ro was right about Keefe’s feelings—and Sophie decided she wanted to see what would happen—this was so much bigger than just the two of them. Like… What would Grady and Edaline think? Sophie still didn’t know if she was actually allowed to date—much less date That Boy. And even if she was, there would surely be all kinds of annoying new rules and restrictions to deal with. Plus, Edaline would probably follow them around with a sappy, embarrassing smile, and Grady would make them sit through a series of horrifying Dad Talks. And what would her friends say when they found out? There’d been a time when Sophie had wondered if Biana had a crush on Keefe—and even though it seemed like Biana had gotten over it… what if she hadn’t? Better question: How would Fitz react? Keefe was Fitz’s best friend—and Fitz’s temper could be… challenging. The possibilities for drama were endless. Sophie’s insides twisted into knots on top of knots as she imagined the awkward conversations. And the stares. And the gossip. There would be So. Much. Gossip. She wanted to hide just thinking about it—and Keefe would probably love the attention. Did that prove they weren’t compatible? Or was she just looking for an excuse because she was scared? And why was she so scared? Keefe would honestly be… … … …a really awesome boyfriend. He was thoughtful. And supportive. And he could be incredibly sweet—when he was actually being serious instead of joking around with everybody. Though… maybe some of his jokes with her hadn’t just been teasing. Had some of it also been… flirting? If Ro were still there, she probably would’ve been nodding and shouting about the Great Foster Oblivion. And maybe she was right. Maybe Sophie had been too insecure to let herself see what was right in front of her. Or too distracted by her crush on Fitz. The last thought made her inner knots twist so much tighter. She’d liked Fitz for so long that she’d never even thought about liking someone else—and she was still trying to get over all of that. But… Did she want to risk missing out on something that might be… really great? Keefe’s face filled her mind, flashing his trademark smirk.
Shannon Messenger (Stellarlune (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #9))
Right now, the world you are inheriting is locked in a struggle between love and fear. Fear manifests as anger, insecurity, and loneliness. Fear eats away at our society, leaving all of us less whole, so we teach you that every healthy relationship inspires love, not fear. Love shows up as kindness, generosity, and compassion. It is healing. It makes us more whole. The greatest gift to ever receive will come through these relationships. The most meaningful connections may last for a few moments, or for a lifetime, but each will be a reminder that we were meant to be a part of one another's lives, to lift one another up, to reach heights together, greater than any of us could reach on our own. Our hope is that you will always have friends in your lives who love and remind you of your innate beauty, strength, and compassion. Equally as important, we hope you will do the same for others. It pains us that we won't always be there for you when you feel lonely and sad, but we offer this simple prescription to remind you, you are loved. When those moments of loneliness and suffering arise, take both your hands and place them on your heart and close your eyes. Think about the friends and family who have been there for you throughout your life, in moments of joy, and also in the depths of disappointment, the people who have listened to you when you were sad, the people who believed in you, even when you lost faith in yourself, the people who have held you up, lifted you, and seeing you for who you really are. Feel their warmth and their kindness washing over you, filling you with happiness. Now, open your eyes.
Vivek H. Murthy (Together: Why Social Connection Holds the Key to Better Health, Higher Performance, and Greater Happiness)
I am thankful for small mercies. I compared notes with one of my friends who expects everything of the universe, and is disappointed when anything is less than the best, and I found that I begin at the other extreme, expecting nothing, and am always full of thanks for moderate goods.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
the most precious beings to her, and so is June. She likes to imagine a place, a safe place, where she can live one day with June and the children. June is older, wiser. She knows. She knows that two women cannot live together like a couple and be treated normally. This may occur in New York, perhaps, but not in Paris. Not in 1973. Certainly not in the kind of society the Rey family live in. She tries to explain this to Clarisse. She says they need to wait, to take their time, that things can happen quietly, slowly, with less difficulty. But Clarisse is younger and more impatient. She doesn’t want to wait. She doesn’t want to take her time.” The pain is setting in at last, like a familiar, dangerous friend you let in with apprehension. My chest feels constricted, too small to contain my lungs. I stop and take a couple of deep breaths. Angèle comes to stand behind me. Her warm body presses against mine. It gives me the strength to carry on. “That Christmas is a dreadful one for Clarisse. Never has she felt lonelier. She misses June desperately. June has her busy, active life in New York, her gallery, her society, her friends, her artists. Clarisse has only her children. She has no friends apart from Gaspard, the son of her mother-in-law’s maid. Can she trust him? What
Tatiana de Rosnay (A Secret Kept)
And this is what happened. We both took it as an opportunity to peel the wallpaper from our lives. The only thing I kept out were the photographs of my friends and family, placed on a wall with photographs of your friends and (less so) family on the other end, as if they were meeting for the first time, still too shy or wary to mingle.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
We want to believe that love is singular and exclusive, and it unnerves us to think that it might actually be renewable and somewhat repetitive in its habits. Would your current partner ever call his or her new partner by the same pet name he/she uses for you, once you are dead and buried? Well, why not? There are only so many pet names. Why should that bother you? Well, because you believe it is you, in particular, who is loved (that is why dear Ed calls you “honey-bunny”), but no: love just is, and you happened to be in the path of it. When, dead and hovering above Ed, you hear him call that rat Beth, your former friend, “honey-bunny,” as she absentmindedly puts her traitorous finger into his belt loop, you, in spirit form, are going to think somewhat less of Ed, and of Beth, and maybe of love itself. Or will you? Maybe you won’t. Because don’t we all do some version of this, when in love? When your lover dies or leaves you, there you are, still yourself, with your particular way of loving. And there is the world, still full of people to love.
George Saunders (A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life)
your connections with others can only be as rewarding as the connection you have with the only ‘someone’ with whom you live every moment of your life: your own self. Being in good contact with your own self, welcoming time with your own self as you might welcome time with a friend: this makes being with others less essential (I can’t bear to be alone) or perhaps less dangerous (I can’t be with others. They are sure to hate me/find me out/ignore me/crush me).
Stephanie Dowrick (Intimacy and Solitude: Finding new closeness and self-trust in a distanced world)
How do people leave these cycles when they don’t have the resources I had or the support from their friends and family? How do they possibly stay strong enough every second of the day? I feel like all it takes is one weak, insecure moment in the presence of your ex to convince yourself you made the wrong decision. Anyone who has ever left a manipulative, abusive spouse and somehow stayed that course deserves a medal. A statue. A freaking superhero movie. Society has obviously been worshipping the wrong heroes this whole time because I’m convinced it takes less strength to pick up a building than it does to permanently leave an abusive situation.
Colleen Hoover (It Starts with Us (It Ends with Us, #2))
A woman once told me that, for a time after her husband died, her grief was as constant as breathing. Then one day, while pushing a shopping cart, she realized she was thinking about yogurt. With time, thoughts in this vein became contiguous. With more time thoughts in this vein became sustained. Eventually they won a kind of majority. Her grieving had ended while she wasn’t watching (although, she added, grief never ends). And so it was with my depression. One day in December I changed a furnace filter with modest interest in the process. The day after that I drove to Gorst for the repair of a faulty seat belt. On the thirty-first I went walking with a friend—grasslands, cattails, asparagus fields, ice-bound sloughs, frost-rimed fencerows—with a familiar engrossment in the changing of winter light. I was home, that night, in time to bang pots and pans at the year’s turn: “E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.” It wasn’t at all like that—this eve was cloudy, the stars hidden by high racing clouds—but I found myself looking skyward anyway, into the night’s maw, and I noticed I was thinking of January’s appointments without a shudder, even with anticipation. Who knows why, but the edge had come off, and being me felt endurable again. My crucible had crested, not suddenly but less gradually than how it had come, and I felt the way a newborn fawn looks in an elementary school documentary. Born, but on shaky, insecure legs. Vulnerable, but in this world for now, with its leaf buds and packs of wolves. Was it pharmacology, and if so, is that a bad thing? Or do I credit time for my healing? Or my Jungian? My reading? My seclusion? My wife’s love? Maybe I finally exhausted my tears, or my dreams at last found sufficient purchase, or maybe the news just began to sound better, the world less precarious, not headed for disaster. Or was it talk in the end, the acknowledgments I made? The surfacing of so many festering pains? My children’s voices down the hall,
David Guterson (Descent: A Memoir of Madness (Kindle Single))
She shut her eyes against the realisation rising within her like a tidal wave. It would sweep away everything in its path once she admitted it. Consume her entirely. The thought was enough for her to straighten and wipe away her tears. 'I can't accept this.' 'It was made for you,' he smiled softly. She couldn't bear that smile, his kindness and joy, as she corrected. 'I will not accept it.' She placed the orb back in its box and handed it to him. 'Return it.' His eyes shuttered. 'It's a gift, not a fucking wedding ring.' She stiffened. 'No, I'll look to Eris for that.' He went still. 'Say that again.' She made her face cold, the only shield she had against him. 'Rhys says Eris wants me for his bride. He'll do anything we want in exchange for my hand.' The Siphons atop Cassian's hands flickered. 'You aren't considering saying yes.' She said nothing. Let him believe the worst. He snarled. 'I see. I get a little too close and you shove me away again. Back to where it's safe. Better to marry a viper like Eris than be with me.' 'I am not with you,' she snapped. 'I am fucking you.' 'The only thing fit for a bastard-born brute, right?' 'I didn't say that.' 'You don't need to. You've said it a thousand times before.' 'Then why did you bother to cut in at the ball?' 'Because I was fucking jealous!' he roared, wings splaying. 'You looked like a queen, and it was painfully obvious that you should be with a princeling like Eris and not a low-born nothing like me! Because I couldn't stand the sight of it, right down to my gods-damned bones! But go ahead, Nesta. Go ahead and fucking marry him and good fucking luck to you!' 'Eris is the brute,' she shot back. 'He is a brute and a piece of shit. And I would marry him because I am just like him!' The words echoed through the room. His pained face gutted her. 'I deserve Eris.' Her voice cracked. Cassian panted, his eyes still lit with fury- and now with shock. Nesta said hoarsely. 'You are good, Cassian. And you are brave, and brilliant, and kind. I could kill anyone who has ever made you feel less than that- less than what you are. And I know I'm a part of that group, and I hate it.' Her eyes burned, but she fought past it. 'You are everything I have never been, and will never be good enough for. Your friends know it, and I have carried it around with me all this time- that I do not deserve you. The fury slid from his face. Nesta didn't stop the tears that flowed, or the words that tumbled out. 'I didn't deserve you before the war, or afterward, and I certainly don't now.' She let out a low, broken laugh. 'Why do you think I shoved you away? Why do you think I wouldn't speak to you?' She put a hand on her aching chest. 'After my father died, after I failed in so many ways- denying myself of you...' She sobbed. 'It was my punishment. Don't you understand that?' She could barely see him through her tears. 'From the moment I met you, I wanted you more than reason From the moment I saw you in my house, you were all I could think about. And it terrified me. No one had ever held such power over me. And I am still terrified that if I let myself have you... it will be taken away. Someone will take it away, and if you're dead...' She buried her face in her hands. 'It doesn't matter,' she whispered. 'I do not deserve you, and I never, ever will.' Utter silence filled the room. Such silence that she wondered if he'd left, and lowered her hands to see if he was there. Cassian stood before her. Tears streaming down his beautiful, perfect face. She didn't balk from it, letting him see her like this: her most raw, most base self. He'd always seen all of her, anyway. He opened his mouth and tried to speak. Had to swallow and try again. Nesta saw all the words in his eyes, though. The same ones she knew lay in her own.
Sarah J. Maas (A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
Maybe you can imagine this in your own life. We no longer look at the sun but at our phones to see what kind of time has passed. We don't look out of our cells but at our cell, flipping to a social media stream and scrolling through what our friends are doing. While we scroll, we develop a resentment that our lives are less fun and fulfilling than the lives of our friends. The here and now, the people who are around and present, pale in front of the manicured and curated versions of another person's life. We begin to wonder, like Evagrius, if we have lost the love of our friends, and we begin to believe that there is "none to comfort" us. So we fill our evenings with overeating, because it feels comforting, or binge-watching our favorite show, because we are so tired that we just need to "relax." We split our attention between the screen of the television and the screen of our phones. Indeed, one of the most effective ways to avoid the gnawing questions of meaning is by staying busy enough to avoid them. A constant flow of information and distraction turns the mind and the heart away from the abyss of asking why. Why do we worry about tomorrow? Why do we toil and reap? What is the treasure of great price that all our lives are working toward? When we do pause between activities, we try to fill the void. We forget that we are more than our work or the things that we produce. Our busyness represents a profound loss of freedom, and one that occurs through a gradual winnowing away of what it means to be human. We replace that it means to be a person with a shallowness of activity
Timothy McMahan King (Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us)
Everything and Nothing* There was no one inside him; behind his face (which even in the bad paintings of the time resembles no other) and his words (which were multitudinous, and of a fantastical and agitated turn) there was no more than a slight chill, a dream someone had failed to dream. At first he thought that everyone was like him, but the surprise and bewilderment of an acquaintance to whom he began to describe that hollowness showed him his error, and also let him know, forever after, that an individual ought not to differ from its species. He thought at one point that books might hold some remedy for his condition, and so he learned the "little Latin and less Greek" that a contemporary would later mention. Then he reflected that what he was looking for might be found in the performance of an elemental ritual of humanity, and so he allowed himself to be initiated by Anne Hathaway one long evening in June. At twenty-something he went off to London. Instinctively, he had already trained himself to the habit of feigning that he was somebody, so that his "nobodiness" might not be discovered. In London he found the calling he had been predestined to; he became an actor, that person who stands upon a stage and plays at being another person, for an audience of people who play at taking him for that person. The work of a thespian held out a remarkable happiness to him—the first, perhaps, he had ever known; but when the last line was delivered and the last dead man applauded off the stage, the hated taste of unreality would assail him. He would cease being Ferrex or Tamerlane and return to being nobody. Haunted, hounded, he began imagining other heroes, other tragic fables. Thus while his body, in whorehouses and taverns around London, lived its life as body, the soul that lived inside it would be Cassar, who ignores the admonition of the sibyl, and Juliet, who hates the lark, and Macbeth, who speaks on the moor with the witches who are also the Fates, the Three Weird Sisters. No one was as many men as that man—that man whose repertoire, like that of the Egyptian Proteus, was all the appearances of being. From time to time he would leave a confession in one corner or another of the work, certain that it would not be deciphered; Richard says that inside himself, he plays the part of many, and Iago says, with curious words, I am not what I am. The fundamental identity of living, dreaming, and performing inspired him to famous passages. For twenty years he inhabited that guided and directed hallucination, but one morning he was overwhelmed with the surfeit and horror of being so many kings that die by the sword and so many unrequited lovers who come together, separate, and melodiously expire. That very day, he decided to sell his theater. Within a week he had returned to his birthplace, where he recovered the trees and the river of his childhood and did not associate them with those others, fabled with mythological allusion and Latin words, that his muse had celebrated. He had to be somebody; he became a retired businessman who'd made a fortune and had an interest in loans, lawsuits, and petty usury. It was in that role that he dictated the arid last will and testament that we know today, from which he deliberately banished every trace of sentiment or literature. Friends from London would visit his re-treat, and he would once again play the role of poet for them. History adds that before or after he died, he discovered himself standing before God, and said to Him: I , who have been so many men in vain, wish to be one, to be myself. God's voice answered him out of a whirlwind: I, too, am not I; I dreamed the world as you, Shakespeare, dreamed your own work, and among the forms of my dream are you, who like me, are many, yet no one.
Jorge Luis Borges
In making policy on Palestine over most of the past century, leaders in both Britain and the United States were driven primarily by powerful strategic and domestic political considerations, rather than by principle. The strategic considerations included the goals of dominating this crucial piece of territory, keeping it in friendly hands, and denying it to others. The political ones included cold calculations of the considerable domestic electoral and financial advantages to be obtained from supporting Zionism, as against the negligible domestic political costs. There also existed naive sympathy for Zionism among many British and American politicians, based on a particularly Protestant immersion in the Bible. This sympathy was often combined with a laudable desire to make amends for the persecution of the Jews in different parts of Europe (often combined with a less laudable, indeed reprehensible, desire to have the victims of persecution find haven somewhere other than Great Britain or the United States). The result of such attitudes, which necessarily ignored or downplayed vital realities on the ground in Palestine, has been an enduring tragedy.
Rashid Khalidi (The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood)
Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value. Do they tell you that the purpose of morality is to curb man’s instinct of self-preservation? It is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live. “No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live, you must live as a man—by the work and the judgment of your mind. “No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else—and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Sweep aside those hatred-eaten mystics, who pose as friends of humanity and preach that the highest virtue man can practice is to hold his own life as of no value. Do they tell you that the purpose of morality is to curb man’s instinct of self-preservation? It is for the purpose of self-preservation that man needs a code of morality. The only man who desires to be moral is the man who desires to live. “No, you do not have to live; it is your basic act of choice; but if you choose to live, you must live as a man—by the work and the judgment of your mind. “No, you do not have to live as a man; it is an act of moral choice. But you cannot live as anything else—and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction. “No, you do not have to think; it is an act of moral choice. But someone had to think to keep you alive; if you choose to default, you default on existence and you pass the deficit to some moral man, expecting him to sacrifice his good for the sake of letting you survive by your evil.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another. Your morality demands that you divorce your love from values and hand it down to any vagrant; not as response to his worth, but as response to his need, not as reward, but as alms, not as a payment for virtues, but as a blank check on vices. Your morality tells you that the purpose of love is to set you free of the bonds of morality, that love is superior to moral judgment; that true love transcends, forgives and survives every manner of evil in its object, and the greater the love the greater the depravity it permits to the loved. To love a man for his virtues is paltry and human, it tells you; to love him for his flaws is divine. To love those who are worthy of it is self-interest; to love the unworthy is sacrifice. You owe your love to those who don’t deserve it, and the less they deserve it, the more love you owe them—the more loathsome the object, the nobler your love—the more unfastidious your love, the greater the virtue—and if you can bring your soul to the state of a dump heap that welcomes anything on equal terms, if you can cease to value moral values, you have achieved the state of moral perfection. “Such is your morality of sacrifice and such are the twin ideals it offers: to refashion the life of your body in the image of a human stockyard, and the life of your spirit in the image of a dump. “Such was your goal—and you’ve reached it. Why do you now moan complaints about man’s impotence and the futility of human aspirations? Because you were unable to prosper by seeking destruction? Because you were unable to find joy by worshipping pain? Because you were unable to live by holding death as your standard of value? “The degree of your ability to live was the degree to which you broke your moral code, yet you believe that those who preach it are friends of humanity, you damn yourself and dare not question their motives or their goals. Take a look at them now, when you face your last choice—and if you choose to perish, do so with full knowledge of how cheaply so small an enemy has claimed your life.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
And in the days that follow, the possibilities of what could've been begin to fall away. Leaving you with less, each time-- more precious, to be savored. Like a cigarette. The point of life, my friend, is to be smoked.
Ram V. (The Many Deaths of Laila Starr)
At the end of your life, you will be recognized if you are familiar and intimate with the King of Kings, as one who is not a stranger but a friend. You cannot claim friendship and intimacy with someone you do not know or ever speak to. Prayer is nothing less than an intimate relationship with the loving God who Himself is your life and salvation. God came in the flesh so that you might know Him as both fully human and fully divine. You must commit to knowing Him in the same way you know your closest friend — and more so — and this is done through prayer. Without prayer, you will never find your way into and through the castle.
Dan Burke (The Devil in the Castle: St. Teresa of Avila, Spiritual Warfare, and the Progress of the Soul)
Friend. He knew that was how she viewed him, no matter that he’d held her hand for a time. Their “courtship” was a ruse, after all, one he had agreed to. He’d gone along both as an entertainment and a favor. It had all been fun and harmless when they’d first begun. It felt less so now. He didn’t want to abandon their scheme. He wanted it to be real. Heaven help him, he wanted it to be real.
Sarah M. Eden (The Best-Laid Plans)
She was the first close friend who I felt like I’d re­ally cho­sen. We weren’t in each other’s lives be­cause of any obli­ga­tion to the past or con­ve­nience of the present. We had no shared his­tory and we had no rea­son to spend all our time to­ gether. But we did. Our friend­ship in­ten­si­fied as all our friends had chil­dren – she, like me, was un­con­vinced about hav­ing kids. And she, like me, found her­self in a re­la­tion­ship in her early thir­ties where they weren’t specif­i­cally work­ing to­wards start­ing a fam­ily. By the time I was thirty-four, Sarah was my only good friend who hadn’t had a baby. Ev­ery time there was an­other preg­nancy an­nounce­ment from a friend, I’d just text the words ‘And an­other one!’ and she’d know what I meant. She be­came the per­son I spent most of my free time with other than Andy, be­cause she was the only friend who had any free time. She could meet me for a drink with­out plan­ning it a month in ad­vance. Our friend­ship made me feel lib­er­ated as well as safe. I looked at her life choices with no sym­pa­thy or con­cern for her. If I could ad­mire her de­ci­sion to re­main child-free, I felt en­cour­aged to ad­mire my own. She made me feel nor­mal. As long as I had our friend­ship, I wasn’t alone and I had rea­son to be­lieve I was on the right track. We ar­ranged to meet for din­ner in Soho af­ter work on a Fri­day. The waiter took our drinks or­der and I asked for our usual – two Dirty Vodka Mar­ti­nis. ‘Er, not for me,’ she said. ‘A sparkling wa­ter, thank you.’ I was ready to make a joke about her un­char­ac­ter­is­tic ab­sti­nence, which she sensed, so as soon as the waiter left she said: ‘I’m preg­nant.’ I didn’t know what to say. I can’t imag­ine the ex­pres­sion on my face was par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic, but I couldn’t help it – I was shocked and felt an un­war­ranted but in­tense sense of be­trayal. In a de­layed re­ac­tion, I stood up and went to her side of the ta­ble to hug her, un­able to find words of con­grat­u­la­tions. I asked what had made her change her mind and she spoke in va­garies about it ‘just be­ing the right time’ and wouldn’t elab­o­rate any fur­ther and give me an an­swer. And I needed an an­swer. I needed an an­swer more than any­thing that night. I needed to know whether she’d had a re­al­iza­tion that I hadn’t and, if so, I wanted to know how to get it. When I woke up the next day, I re­al­ized the feel­ing I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing was not anger or jeal­ousy or bit­ter­ness – it was grief. I had no one left. They’d all gone. Of course, they hadn’t re­ally gone, they were still my friends and I still loved them. But huge parts of them had dis­ap­peared and there was noth­ing they could do to change that. Un­less I joined them in their spa­ces, on their sched­ules, with their fam­i­lies, I would barely see them. And I started dream­ing of an­other life, one com­pletely re­moved from all of it. No more chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties, no more chris­ten­ings, no more bar­be­cues in the sub­urbs. A life I hadn’t ever se­ri­ously con­tem­plated be­fore. I started dream­ing of what it would be like to start all over again. Be­cause as long as I was here in the only Lon­don I knew – mid­dle-class Lon­don, cor­po­rate Lon­don, mid-thir­ties Lon­don, mar­ried Lon­don – I was in their world. And I knew there was a whole other world out there.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
Rea­sons Why I Loved Be­ing With Jen I love what a good friend you are. You’re re­ally en­gaged with the lives of the peo­ple you love. You or­ga­nize lovely ex­pe­ri­ences for them. You make an ef­fort with them, you’re pa­tient with them, even when they’re side­tracked by their chil­dren and can’t pri­or­i­tize you in the way you pri­or­i­tize them. You’ve got a gen­er­ous heart and it ex­tends to peo­ple you’ve never even met, whereas I think that ev­ery­one is out to get me. I used to say you were naive, but re­ally I was jeal­ous that you al­ways thought the best of peo­ple. You are a bit too anx­ious about be­ing seen to be a good per­son and you def­i­nitely go a bit over­board with your left-wing pol­i­tics to prove a point to ev­ery­one. But I know you re­ally do care. I know you’d sign pe­ti­tions and help peo­ple in need and vol­un­teer at the home­less shel­ter at Christ­mas even if no one knew about it. And that’s more than can be said for a lot of us. I love how quickly you read books and how ab­sorbed you get in a good story. I love watch­ing you lie on the sofa read­ing one from cover-to-cover. It’s like I’m in the room with you but you’re in a whole other gal­axy. I love that you’re al­ways try­ing to im­prove your­self. Whether it’s running marathons or set­ting your­self chal­lenges on an app to learn French or the fact you go to ther­apy ev­ery week. You work hard to be­come a bet­ter ver­sion of your­self. I think I prob­a­bly didn’t make my ad­mi­ra­tion for this known and in­stead it came off as ir­ri­ta­tion, which I don’t re­ally feel at all. I love how ded­i­cated you are to your fam­ily, even when they’re an­noy­ing you. Your loy­alty to them wound me up some­times, but it’s only be­cause I wish I came from a big fam­ily. I love that you al­ways know what to say in con­ver­sa­tion. You ask the right ques­tions and you know ex­actly when to talk and when to lis­ten. Ev­ery­one loves talk­ing to you be­cause you make ev­ery­one feel im­por­tant. I love your style. I know you think I prob­a­bly never no­ticed what you were wear­ing or how you did your hair, but I loved see­ing how you get ready, sit­ting in front of the full-length mir­ror in our bed­room while you did your make-up, even though there was a mir­ror on the dress­ing ta­ble. I love that you’re mad enough to swim in the English sea in No­vem­ber and that you’d pick up spi­ders in the bath with your bare hands. You’re brave in a way that I’m not. I love how free you are. You’re a very free per­son, and I never gave you the sat­is­fac­tion of say­ing it, which I should have done. No one knows it about you be­cause of your bor­ing, high-pres­sure job and your stuffy up­bring­ing, but I know what an ad­ven­turer you are un­der­neath all that. I love that you got drunk at Jack­son’s chris­ten­ing and you al­ways wanted to have one more drink at the pub and you never com­plained about get­ting up early to go to work with a hang­over. Other than Avi, you are the per­son I’ve had the most fun with in my life. And even though I gave you a hard time for al­ways try­ing to for al­ways try­ing to im­press your dad, I ac­tu­ally found it very adorable be­cause it made me see the child in you and the teenager in you, and if I could time-travel to any­where in his­tory, I swear, Jen, the only place I’d want to go is to the house where you grew up and hug you and tell you how beau­ti­ful and clever and funny you are. That you are spec­tac­u­lar even with­out all your sports trophies and mu­sic cer­tifi­cates and in­cred­i­ble grades and Ox­ford ac­cep­tance. I’m sorry that I loved you so much more than I liked my­self, that must have been a lot to carry. I’m sorry I didn’t take care of you the way you took care of me. And I’m sorry I didn’t take care of my­self, ei­ther. I need to work on it. I’m pleased that our break-up taught me that. I’m sorry I went so mental. I love you. I always will. I'm glad we met.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
1. Hassle. 2. Less time just the two of us. (Try no time just the two of us.) 3. Other people. (PTA meetings. Ballet teachers. The kid’s insufferable friends and their insufferable parents.) 4. Turning into a cow. (I was slight, and preferred to stay that way. My sister-in-law had developed bulging varicose veins in her legs during pregnancy that never retreated, and the prospect of calves branched in blue tree roots mortified me more than I could say. So I didn’t say. I am vain, or once was, and one of my vanities was to feign that I was not.) 5. Unnatural altruism: being forced to make decisions in accordance with what was best for someone else. (I’m a pig.) 6. Curtailment of my traveling. (Note curtailment. Not conclusion.) 7. Dementing boredom. (I found small children brutally dull. I did, even at the outset, admit this to myself.) 8. Worthless social life. (I had never had a decent conversation with a friend’s five-year-old in the room.) 9. Social demotion. (I was a respected entrepreneur. Once I had a toddler in tow, every man I knew—every woman, too, which is depressing—would take me less seriously.) 10. Paying the piper. (Parenthood repays a debt. But who wants to pay a debt she can escape? Apparently, the childless get away with something sneaky. Besides, what good is repaying a debt to the wrong party? Only the most warped mother could feel rewarded for her trouble by the fact that at last her daughter’s life is hideous, too.)
Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Knowledge did not seem to bring her a clearer vision of Jim’s world, but to make the mystery greater. She could not believe that she was supposed to feel respect for the dreary senselessness of the art shows which his friends attended, of the novels they read, of the political magazines they discussed—the art shows, where she saw the kind of drawings she had seen chalked on any pavement of her childhood’s slums—the novels, that purported to prove the futility of science, industry, civilization and love, using language that her father would not have used in his drunkenest moments—the magazines, that propounded cowardly generalities, less clear and more stale than the sermons for which she had condemned the preacher of the slum mission as a mealy-mouthed old fraud. She could not believe that these things were the culture she had so reverently looked up to and so eagerly waited to discover. She felt as if she had climbed a mountain toward a jagged shape that had looked like a castle and had found it to be the crumbling ruin of a gutted warehouse.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
We’ve organized a setup where we—me, Orren and a few friends—are going to control every industrial property south of the border.” “Whose property?” “Why . . . the people’s. This is not an old-fashioned grab for private profit. It’s a deal with a mission—a worthy, public-spirited mission—to manage the nationalized properties of the various People’s States of South America, to teach their workers our modern techniques of production, to help the underprivileged who’ve never had a chance, to—” He broke off abruptly, though she had merely sat looking at him without shifting her glance. “You know,” he said suddenly, with a cold little chuckle, “if you’re so damn anxious to hide that you came from the slums, you ought to be less indifferent to the philosophy of social welfare. It’s always the poor who lack humanitarian instincts. One has to be born to wealth in order to know the finer feelings of altruism.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
We’ve organized a setup where we—me, Orren and a few friends—are going to control every industrial property south of the border.” “Whose property?” “Why . . . the people’s. This is not an old-fashioned grab for private profit. It’s a deal with a mission—a worthy, public-spirited mission—to manage the nationalized properties of the various People’s States of South America, to teach their workers our modern techniques of production, to help the underprivileged who’ve never had a chance, to—” He broke off abruptly, though she had merely sat looking at him without shifting her glance. “You know,” he said suddenly, with a cold little chuckle, “if you’re so damn anxious to hide that you came from the slums, you ought to be less indifferent to the philosophy of social welfare. It’s always the poor who lack humanitarian instincts. One has to be born to wealth in order to know the finer feelings of altruism.” “I’ve never tried to hide that I came from the slums,” she said in the simple, impersonal tone of a factual correction. “And I haven’t any sympathy for that welfare philosophy. I’ve seen enough of them to know what makes the kind of poor who want something for nothing.” He did not answer, and she added suddenly, her voice astonished, but firm, as if in final confirmation of a long-standing doubt, “Jim, you don’t care about it either. You don’t care about any of that welfare hogwash.” “Well, if money is all that you’re interested in,” he snapped, “let me tell you that that deal will bring me a fortune. That’s what you’ve always admired, isn’t it, wealth?
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Are we starting early?” Barb came strolling into the Library Bar with his usual casual smile. “He isn’t drinking before the work’s done, is he? You’ll regret that.” “Will you shut your hoe mouth?!” Ferd screeched at Barb, and Barb just laughed it off. They really were polar opposites, and yet weirdly the same. “I need to get my Voodoo ready for her big night. I’m a professional!” “Say that with a few less decibels,” I giggled. Man, he could screech.
Adam A. Fox (A Sinful Silence)
My friend the great Baha’i philosopher (and PhD in physics from Princeton) Steven Phelps reminded me that the discussion has unfortunately been far less focused on God as a goal, a destination, a way of life, a rich garden of qualities to emulate, or an energy to both draw from and align with. Perhaps we ought to spend less time thinking of this creative force as a what and more like a how—how to live in this world with radiance, humility, a spirit of service, and a sacred harmony. A God that emanates divine qualities in the same way that pesky spiritual metaphor in the sky, the sun, emanates light, heat, and healing.
Rainn Wilson (Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution)
Every human is a magician, and we can either put a spell on someone with our word or we can release someone from a spell. We cast spells all the time with our opinions. An example: I see a friend and give him an opinion that just popped into my mind. I say, “Hmmm! I see that kind of color in your face in people who are going to get cancer.” If he listens to the word, and if he agrees, he will have cancer in less than one year. That is the power of the word.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
You are not alone. Understand, friend, there are millions of us. Millions of people who struggle with (and overcome) all sorts of problems. You would be shocked to know how many people understand EXACTLY what you are going through. That doesn’t mean that what you are going through is somehow less. Meaningful. Special. Unique. On the contrary, it means that what you are going through is more. It is important. It deserves to be seen, spoken of, and understood.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Research shows that a church must keep about 16 percent of its first time guests to experience a minimal growth rate of 5 percent a year. Rapidly growing churches keep between 25 and 30 percent of their first time guests. Declining churches keep only about 5 to 8 percent of their first time guests. By using the average of 16 percent, we can calculate the number of guests our church needs to grow. For example, a church that wants to add fifty new members this year will need to have a minimum of three hundred guests attend its worship services during the year. The same research revealed the crucial importance of getting guests to return for a second visit. A church keeps about 60 percent of its guests who come back for a second visit in the week after their first visit. This points out the importance of being gracious hosts the first time, so that our guests will feel encouraged to return. Research also indicates that new comers who remain in a church more than six months have an average of seven friends in their church, while people who drop out of a church average only two friends. 90 percent of new members who do not find a group to join and a job to do will be inactive at the end of the year. Less than 10 percent of first timers will ever return after their first time visit. 10-12 percent of those that come back will join the church within one year. 45-60 percent of second time guests will join the church if graciously received at the first visit. 75 percent of third time visitors will join the church if there is friendliness among church people and towards guests.
Albert O. Aina (10 Healthy System for Healthy Church Growth)
Nesta said hoarsely, " You are good, Cassian. And you are brave, and brilliant, and kind. I could kill anyone who has ever made you feel less than that -- less than what you are. And I know I'm part of that group, and I hate it" Her eyes burned, but she fought past it. " You are everything I have never been, and will never be good enough for. Your friends know it, and I have carried it around with me all this time - that I do not deserve you.
Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Silver Flames
Read no newspapers, try to find a few friends who think as you do, read the wonderful writers of earlier times, Kant, Goethe, Lessing, and the classics of other lands, and enjoy the natural beauties of Munich's surroundings. Make believe all the time that you are living, so to speak, on Mars among alien creatures and blot out any deeper interest in the actions of those creatures. Make friends with a few animals. Then you will become a cheerful man once more and nothing will be able to trouble you. (Response to a letter from an unemployed professional musician)
Albert Einstein (Albert Einstein: The Human Side)
I don’t expect anything less from the two best friends who have been attached at the hip since kindergarten.
Lauren Asher (Love Redesigned (Lakefront Billionaires, #1))
I suppose you will be hanging up your stocking just once more: I hope so for I have still a few little things for you. After this I shall have to say “goodbye”, more or less: I mean, I shall not forget you. We always keep the old numbers of our old friends, and their letters; and later on we hope to come back when they are grown up and have houses of their own and children.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Letters from Father Christmas)
R2-D2 was more optimistic about the fate of their friends. For one thing, Lando could take care of himself pretty well. Also, the droid knew that Chewbacca hadn’t even arrived yet at Jabba’s palace, although he didn’t bother mentioning this detail to C-3PO. Sometimes, the less C-3PO knew, the better. The
Ryder Windham (Star Wars: Classic Trilogy: Collecting A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi (Disney Junior Novel (ebook)))
Therapy isn't going to stop life's being brutal and hard. But it will make it less likely that life gives you a condition that causes you to rot silently from the inside out.
Daniel Sloss (Everyone You Hate is Going to Die: And Other Comforting Thoughts on Family, Friends, Sex, Love, and More Things That Ruin Your Life)
1B. If you find that you are feeling bitchy, toxic, or competitive toward the women who are supposed to be your closest friends, look at why and figure out how to fix it and/or find someone to help you fix it. 3. If you are the kind of woman who says, "I'm mostly friends with guys," and act like you're proud of that, like that makes you closer to being a man or something and less of a woman as if being a woman is a bad thing, see Item 1B. It's okay if most of your friends are guys, but if you champion this as commentary on the nature of female friendships, well, soul-search a little. 3A. If you feel like it's hard to be friends with women, consider that maybe women aren't the problem. Maybe it's just you.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
Maybe I had been a human—flawed and still growing but full of light nonetheless. All this time, I had received plenty of love, but I’d given it, too. Unbeknownst to me, I had been scattering goodness all around like fun-size chocolates accidentally falling out of my purse as I moved through the world. Perhaps the only real thing that was broken was the image I had of myself—punishing and unfair, narrow and hypercritical. Perhaps what was really happening was that, along with all of my flaws, I was a fucking wonder. And I continue to be a fucking wonder. A fun, dependable friend who will always call you back, cook for you, and fiercely defend your honor. A devoted sister and daughter who prioritizes and appreciates family in ways less-traumatized people can never quite understand. A hardworking, capable employee who brings levity and mischievousness to the offices I inhabit. I am a person who is generous with her love, who is present in texts and calls and affirmations, because I know so intimately how powerful that love can be.
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)